“And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory.” 1 Peter 5:4
2018 will forever be known as the year I got completely and totally obsessed with the Winter Olympics. Maybe it’s because I can never really watch the Summer Olympics (that whole camp thing), or because we’re in a new city and don’t have a lot of friends, but this year I dove all the way in. If an event was being covered, I watched. I read articles, I followed athletes on social media, and I cried big tears with every medal won.
So when our pastor used two American’s two top snowboarders as an illustration, you know I was all in. You probably watched it too, but let me set the scene a bit. The snowboarders have 3 runs to try for their best score. On his last run, Shawn White was down, and he needed an all but perfect score to win the medal the media was expecting him to come home with. The pressure was on, and it was all up to him. (of course he did end up winning the gold medal, but that’s beside the point.)
On the other hand, 17 year old protege Chloe Kim stood on top of the pipe for her third run knowing that she had already won the gold. That was how good her second run was. She knew that no matter what she did on that third one, the gold was hers. I cried as I watched her coach hug her and say, “go for the perfect 100 - you have nothing to lose!” She could relax and enjoy every second of her run, throwing caution to the wind because she had already won.
Friends, if your hope is in Jesus, you are Chloe Kim, not Shawn White. You are standing at the halfpipe of your life, knowing that no matter what you do, no matter what mistakes you make, no matter how many times you fall, the gold is waiting for you at the end because of Jesus. He won the gold in your place - your name is beside his perfect run. How much pressure does this take off? We know the end of the story. It’s not up to you! We know our victory in Him is sure.
Are you feeling pressure today to be the perfect student, employee, friend, daughter? He has already equipped you for every good work (Hebrews 13:21). Are you so tired you don’t think you can make it one more day? He gives strength to the weary (Isaiah 40:29). Are you discouraged by your week so far, feeling like you haven’t lived up to your own expectations? You can boast in your weaknesses because He is working through them (2 Corinthians 12:9).
Let those truths soak in today. You can enjoy this day, because the only Perfect One has secured God’s smile for you. You will make mistakes but because of Jesus, they don’t get the final word. You are more than a conquerer, you are redeemed, a daughter of the King who has nothing to lose today. Feel the weight of that (figurative) gold medal, and rejoice and be glad.